At the recently concluded ESL One Hamburg 2018, on the second day of the playoffs stage, we had the chance to chat with the Alliance position 5 support Aydin “iNSaNiA” Sarkohi. Alliance might not have had the run they wished for in Hamburg, but the event was good practice for the upcoming Major, and talking to iNSaNiA we wanted to hear his take on how the tournament went overall for the team and what are the main things they learned in Hamburg.
ESL One Hamburg 2018 it’s the first big LAN event for Alliance with this line-up, so I have to ask, how do you guys feel here, how was the event in terms of expectations and results?
It feels good to be here, the event helped our team a lot simply by playing against all the top teams. We obviously wanted to do better than we did, but we feel like at the end of the day we lost a few games that should only make us smarter going into the Kuala Lumpur Major. And actually, that was always the goal. We came here to learn, to practice, we came here for the overall experience that should get us better for the upcoming Major. It was a good LAN practice, we figured what things we are forgetting in the game, or what are the things we are not thinking about, for example the Alchemist in this tournament…
Everyone kind of expects a new patch as soon as possible, and what if Valve decides to drop it a few days before the Major, like immediately after the Minor in Sweden, then most of the things that happened here will have almost no meaning?
That’s partially true, but at the same time, Dota is also about how you function as a team, for instance, how we communicate with each other, how we coordinate and we felt like this event helped us to improve at those things.
It’s extremely important to find the synergy between the members of the team, and I know you and Mike have a long Heroes of Newerth history together. So I’d like to talk about how was this transition for you two, from HoN to now playing for one of the legendary Dota 2 European brands.
Yeah, me and Mike played together since our HoN days, we know each other for a super long time. I don’t know, I think there’s already five or six years since we play together so, he is probably one of the best teammates I ever had. After playing together for so long we built some sort of trust in each other, and when you trust your teammate everything else becomes easier. We don’t second guess ourselves, even if we make a small mistake, we know we can work through it.
When I joined Alliance I expected to be a lot of pressure on us, on the new players, because you know, the fans will get disappointed if we lose, but because the organization didn’t have the best results in the last few years I think it lowered the fans expectations and when we do somewhat well there are a LOT of people that are really excited for us. So, Alliance, for me it’s been only a positive experience and having Loda coaching us brings in a lot of experience. Especially at this event, he’s been yelling a bit at us, but in a good way, he puts us in a focused mindset.
Yeah, for the old Dota 2 fans seeing now Loda for the first time on the stage in the coaching role brought to us a lot of nostalgia. We know him as this calm carry, an esports ambassador, a person who always finds good words for someone, a person who cares about the players and the scene as a whole. So, it’s been interesting to see how he does now as a coach, how is he handling you as a team and all.
Loda is a really good people’s person. He knows how to talk to different people, to different personalities to get the best from us. Our players are very different, we all respond to different types of coaching if you like, and I think he’s found a good way of how to deal with everyone, especially when we get a bit sloppy and we are not focused on the right things.
photo credits: ESL
Who would you say will win this tournament, or which two teams do you think will be in the grand finals?
I feel like the Chinese teams were really strong in the group stages. We scrimmed a bit with Team Aster and we did quite well against them, but I’ll probably say it will be Team Secret and Vici Gaming in the grand finals. I think Secret was the biggest opponent to beat here. They play the game in a different way than the rest of the teams at this event. They have a very nice way of enabling their support players and I think that’s what makes them different and usually, when you are different and you make it work, you end up winning tournaments.
Did you see the support Brewmaster and the support Legion Commander coming from Puppey?
No, we had no idea that they were going to do that, but after thinking about their players, it makes a lot of sense for them to have greedier support heroes, like not normal supports. They have very active core players that make a lot of space for themselves actually so, they can afford to have these supports that take a lot of farm.
I see. We have to end our interview here, I hope to see you guys do well at the Major in Kuala Lumpur and if you have any shout-outs, now it’s the time do so.
Thank you for doing the interview and shout-out to our sponsor Monster, we wouldn’t be here without them. Shout-out to Alliance for believing in our roster and for giving us a chance. And of course, a shout-out to all the Alliance fans who turned up at our signing session.
More Interviews from ESL One Hamburg 2018
– Zai: “A lot of what we played in this tournament was just experimentation”
– Arteezy: “I feel that all the heroes I play got nerfed and nothing really got buffed”
– Saksa: “After I left Planet Odd I made a lot of bad decisions team-wise”
– Universe: “Moving to SEA was a pretty crazy decision”
– Kpii: “Mineski was the best offer that I had”
– Solo: “ArtStyle had no fresh ideas and he realized this by himself”
– Fenrir: “I and Fy are in fact inseparable”
– SVG: “There are not a lot of coaches in America and Europe that teams trust to draft at high level”